Over the last few years, I've become so scared of how people will judge my writing that it sometimes sucks the joy out of the process, and I forget how much I love writing and my characters and the world I've built. I feel the pressure to be perfect, even though none of us can be. I compare myself to other writers. And I worry about what readers will think of my work, or if they'll even have an interest. My anxiety brain replays criticism I've received over the years and makes up some of its own to fill in the gaps.
I've wanted to be an author for so long. And now, I am. One book out and another just on the horizon. And it's still what I want, in spite of the struggles that come with it. There will always be people who won't "get" your work. That comes with any form of art. Creating and sharing stories is what I was meant to do. But I need to remember that being an author is not what matters most.
I always encourage writers to write for themselves. Yes, feedback and validation are wonderful. And I crave that connection and understanding from finding the right audience for my work, too. But I find solace in just the act of writing. My work is full of pain and love and the ghosts of my past. That's what I love about it. Writing allows me to dive into the depths of emotion.
And though sometimes my writing feels like it shouldn't matter in the grand scheme of things - especially right now - I need it. I need it to process the past. I need it to dream about the future. I need it as an escape. I need it as a way to dive deeper. Maybe someday someone else will need it, too. But even if it's always just me who needs it, that also matters.
Keep creating, and loving, and feeling, and dreaming, and don't let the haters (even if they're just in your mind) keep you from the work you love! 💕